The boat crew at Rainbow Springs State Park consists of dedicated members of Friends of Rainbow Springs. The boat crew takes the Friends’ boat out on the water each and every day, patrolling the aquatic preserve to protect the natural resource of our first-magnitude spring.
In 2019, volunteers were out on the water perhaps once or twice a week. In 2020, the number of boat crew volunteers increased to 15 active members who were able to patrol the river seven days a week.
While on patrol, the boat captains carry a radio and are in constant contact with park rangers. Working hand in hand, rangers and boat captains protect the natural resource, request voluntary compliance of rules from visitors and ensure that our visitors enjoy a safe experience while enjoying Rainbow Springs State Park. The boat crew is also available to assist visitors in distress on their kayaks, stand-up paddleboards or other vessels. The volunteers' efforts are responsible in part for the decreased need for law enforcement and EMT assistance during the busy summer months of 2020.
2020 Irene DeLaby Award
Nelly Brooshas received the 2020 Irene DeLaby Award for contributing more than 10,000 hours of volunteer service at Rainbow Springs State Park.
Nelly has been volunteering for state parks for 24 years while serving in a wide variety of roles. She whole-heartedly dives into every project she is brought in to with an unstoppable work ethic and enthusiasm.
2020 Florida State Parks Volunteer Recognition Award Winner